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Why Now is the Time to Make the Platform Play


Chief Strategy Officer


Dyn’s $50M funding announcement yesterday was a major milestone for the company. Not only does it mark $100M in total funding since 2012, after previously bootstrapping our way to a rock-solid business foundation, it also clearly displays our commitment to building a meaningful, sustainable and independent franchise company in New Hampshire. This deal will enable the company to push to the platform in a big way, build out our enterprise efforts, realize large scale industry partnerships and enable Dyn to continue to scale on our quest to make a big impact on the global Internet.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the move to the platform is the obvious choice for companies that want to be truly significant. There’s no way for me to overstate this – companies that win markets have navigated a path from feature, to product, to suite, to platform. It doesn’t happen overnight, but when it comes together the opportunity becomes immense.

Internet Performance Management (IPM) is the proactive approach that organizations take to gain the visibility, control and resiliency they need to harness the Internet the same way they do their internal infrastructure and apps. Dyn’s platform to support Internet Performance Management is a huge transformation for the company and will shape our approach internally and externally for many years.

Internet Performance Management, executed properly, provides a compelling competitive advantage for businesses. It supplies or details dynamic, actionable data to fuel performance-based business decisions that can dramatically improve the customer experience. Every second counts in this digital economy. The ability to quickly identify – and more importantly – act on an issue that is causing application delays will save precious seconds, leading to serious savings.

Our IPM platform play is as much about meeting the market as it is about coalescing the tools, data, products and brainpower we’ve been investing in for years, to solve big business problems. Our new go-to-market push and product transformation reflects these evolutions in our business and in the market. For Dyn, it’s no longer about selling feeds and speeds or best of breed products, but all about selling business value delivered by our platform.

Our Vision Has Enabled the Platform Play

platform slideShifting your business to a platform approach requires patience and isn’t for everyone. We’ve had complementary products that combine to create huge value for our customers and prospects and over the past year we’ve been moving to a larger vision for how these products can combine to create a larger, more powerful solution for customers. The move to a full IPM approach allows us to combine our core DNS, data, analytics and traffic steering offerings to address the larger space, where we see huge potential for the company through the next 5 years and beyond. Building out a platform and successfully rolling it out to customers – and ensuring they embrace it – is a big challenge; but with big challenges come big opportunities. We’ve been loud about our vision and it’s all coming together in an impactful way: “To be the company connecting people, content and commerce through a single global Internet.”

Build What Customers Want

It may seem obvious to build products well-tailored to customers’ wants and needs but too many SaaS product development teams fall into the trap of iterating based on their own inward beliefs rather than keeping to the goal of solving very specific customer problems. As we’ve moved to the platform we’ve kept our focus on building what customers want and it has enabled the 29 consecutive quarters of growth you’ve all played a huge role in helping us achieve.

Keeping a committed eye on the customer has meant constantly challenging our teams to innovate to meet the current and future needs of our customers. The platform has always been the goal, but it has become the emphasis based on clear customer demand and need.

This “market-in” rather than “product out” mindset has helped us keep our core products valuable while also thinking forward to the macro trends happening across the Internet infrastructure landscape. What will CIOs need tomorrow and how can we be one step ahead? We are bullish that a platform play in IPM is the smart path forward to success.

Empower Leadership and Build Towards Change

Building the vision and strategy and pressing the “Go” button on the move to a platform approach was one of the most significant decisions our leadership has made over the history of the business. It is signaling a serious shift in our marketing and sales groups – both in manpower and approach – and it has required a significant move from our product and engineering teams to build the software that can enable the business shift to the platform. Every other function from talent to finance has had to adapt. As if scaling a company isn’t hard enough, doing it while making a huge company iteration, is not for the faint of heart.

It was a true team effort to develop the strategy and action plan for the platform play and it was crucial for the plan to be communicated to leaders across our near 500-person business, to our regional offices in the UK, Australia and Singapore, and understood and internalized by all of our staff. If you want to have a big vision for your company’s future, you truly have to go all in. I think this funding round has displayed that our investors and board believe in our future, now, more than ever.

Reorg and Resize

We have had to make big changes in the organization to enable the shift to the platform and put our company on a footing to grow to new heights. This is never an easy proposition for a business or its people, but if leadership articulates the vision, maintains conviction, charts the course and firmly plants the flag, showing how your business can meet the opportunity before it, you’ll be set to optimize for the exciting opportunities ahead.

At Dyn, our platform play has meant that we’re now prepared to hunt down opportunities in business categories that are emerging as the big prospects of the future: automation, predictive analytics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), full and hybrid cloud adoption, mobile and ever more globalization and global growth. Our internal reorganization has meant shifting focus for many of our best thinkers and the creation of new strategic groups that are helping the whole organization to shift to meet opportunity. We’ve developed specific research, integration, partnerships and alliances, and solution architecture teams to set us on a footing to chase down our aspirational vision.

This move to the platform has been very well planned and execution will be underway through 2016 and beyond. It will be a challenging process, but as successes pile up, we will all understand that the energy and sacrifice was worth it to build a special company. On behalf of the full leadership team, I want to thank you all for your commitment and support. Exciting times ahead!

Kyle York is Dyn’s Chief Strategy Officer and has been a long-time executive, having joined in 2008. Over the years, he has held go-to-market leadership roles in worldwide sales, marketing, and services. In his role as CSO, Kyle focuses on overall corporate strategy, including: positioning and evangelism, new market entry, strategic alliances and partnerships, M&A, and business development. Outside of Dyn, Kyle is an angel investor, entrepreneur, and advisor in several startups. Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyork20 and @Dyn.